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Curing seasick supply chains

on September 3, 2019 No comments

Long before the Great Recession, and not unlike an unexpected storm surge wreaking havoc on some poor, unprepared port, the cruising industry was in trouble.

Big trouble.

From calls to go green to outright bans on docking at certain European destinations due to overcrowding, the economic downturn saw many a cruise line struggle to remain solvent this past decade.

Couple that with industry-leaders like Carnival Cruise Lines failing to return to the height of operating profit and revenue as reported back in February 2008 and the entire sector seems to barely be (pardon the bad pun) staying afloat.

While many of these setbacks could not have been handled any other way by oceangoing fleet managers, there is no excuse for poor present-day performance due to inaccurate demand forecasting, a lack of conscious greening and overhauling of legacy ships, and failing to make available valuable data to all partner firms throughout the value chain.

Supply chain professionals and logisticians in this space should, however, leverage certain key technology providers in this space, such as Hanhaa, who have a proven track record in not only making ‘right’ day-to-day operations, but also empowering entire industries to take control of their supply chains whether they be customer-facing or internal.

Here’s how.

Supply chain management on the high seas:

Restocking at various ports in different countries in unpredictable conditions all while attempting to ensure a seamless customer experience at sea day after day is no small feat.

Hanhaa understands that the operational side of cruising demands more than linear value chain assessments since operators need to focus on the technical, hotel, corporate, and fuel purchasing streams in a synchronized and fluid manner.

Last-minute purchase orders, no matter their origin, often have the greatest impact on a firm’s bottom-line and can erase any profit in the click of a mouse.

This is an entirely avoidable scenario, of course, as is reducing the likelihood of stockouts and unconsumed buffer inventory by leveraging smart sensors that monitor and track the location of items from port to passenger.

Hanhaa’s ParceLive, seven-sensor reusable devices not only alert supply chain planners on the location of their stock so as to avoid last-minute orders, but also report on whether an entire shipment was unexpectedly tilted, exposed to light, left on a hot and humid dock, or otherwise compromised.

The raw data capture also empowers schedulers and coordinators with the ability to provide feedback to upstream and channel partners around the globe and to only work with carriers focused on providing the best cruiser experience.

Project management and cruise ship MRO:

With calls of making more environmentally-friendly the cruise industry, cost-constrained operators do not always have the means to build a brand-new, luxury-class ship from scratch.

That said, conscious cruising is no longer a niche consideration for cruise operators that intend to (right, bad-pun alert) stay the course for the duration and to see themselves back into the black.

And despite cruise-oriented vacations are expected to grow year-over-year well into the next decade, operators need to also watch back of house operations and ensure their craft are as efficient and up to date as possible.

This starts, of course, at the dry dock with maintaining, repairing, and overhauling water-bound craft the moment they are no longer drawing crowds or are severely polluting the environment.

Again, Hanhaa’s suite of software products can streamline various supply chains from more heavy manufacturing via their ability to capture raw data by way of sensors, ensuring on-time delivery, and, most powerfully, feeding the information into Microsoft Excel so that all projects get managed to spec.

This application of the Symbisa platform, as it is known, is turnkey in its ability to afford planners and project managers the data they need to generate Gantt charts, graphs, and other visual aids to hold accountable upstream and downstream partners when kitting out a boat with the latest, customer-appealing features.

Symbisa dashboard displaying ParceLive data

Going overboard on over-communicating:

While Hanhaa’s Symbisa and ParceLive products create an ecosystem in which to give back more control to the cruise fleet manager, this individual is still, too often times, at the mercy of global sea and air freight forwarders, inbound and outbound managers, food and beverage distributors, hotel staffing agencies, third-party logistics companies, reverse supply chain personnel, and part suppliers, just to name but a few.

When it comes to coordinating all of these events Hanhaa is more than willing to partner with cruise ship operators and on-board them as channel partners with the means of a web-based portal so as to manage upstream and downstream data.

As mentioned, but which bears repeating, sharing information will not only improve communication across contractors, retailers on-board, and staffing agencies, but mean fewer last-minute restocks and ever higher operating margins.


The cruise ship supply chain manager and logistician could be forgiven for getting seasick every now and again due to their oft siloed and divisionalized operating procedures.

What, with not only having to manage projects, but also control and monitor what essentially equates to a mall on top of a grocer on top of a hotel, a fleet manager needs all the help he or she can get!

But again, and due to the increasing number of calls to make green the entire tourist industry, clean, technology-based solutions are only a click or call away.

So, whether it’s provisioning, recycling, project management, overhauling, or just day-to-day operations, Hanhaa offers a myriad of synchronised solutions to help firms move back into the green all while sailing off into the horizon.

CallumCuring seasick supply chains